Out of her mind women writing on madness by rebecca shannonhouse

ses of Renee and Slater, the terror is created in the mind of the patient, part of her delusional state itself rather than something inflicted upon her by the outside world. Despite knowing that their anxieties are not based on anything in reality, neither woman can shake the fear or the depression which pervade their lives.
All of the stories discuss various treatments they received, as well as their responses. Ward goes into detail great about shock therapy from the dissociated perspective of her protagonist Virginia, but the most common treatments discussed are medications. In the case of Slater’s Black Swans, the treatment (Prozac) is credited with saving the patient. (Shannonhouse, 146) The opposite is true of Millet’s The Loony Bin Trip, in which the medications are given to women against their will, controlling them with terrifying hallucinations, physical side effects of medications or physical restraint. Whether they appreciated their therapies or not, the medications had a profound impact on each of the women presented.
In The Snake Pit by Mary Jane Ward, the narrator Virginia relates her depression and confusion using short words and choppy sentences. Her words are bleak, and her thoughts move haphazardly from one to another with little to hold them together. Virginia asks for advice about what to do from her real friends but they cant help her so she asks in her mind. Her delusions are no more helpful than real people:
Dear Emily Post: Is it proper to go out park-sitting in a hoover apron? Answer: This is a custom entirely unknown to me, but if it is the general practice in your community it would be well not to be conspicuous. I assume the hoover apron is always fresh and that you would not lap the clean side over the soiled side and attempt in that way to maintain a false front. (Shannonhouse, 62)
This stream of consciousness style of writing conveys clearly the confusion and dissociation Virginia experiences, both before and